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Wood Counter and Island Tops Bring Nature Indoors
Countertops made of wood typically signal that the homeowner loves nature and the warmth that wood imparts to kitchens. They can also indicate that the chief cook in the household plays an active role in meal preparation - cutting, slicing, dicing and maybe even chopping on wooden counters. Wood counter tops are especially suitable for avid bakers. You can’t find a better surface on which to knead, roll and cut dough than a butcher block top.
Choose Maple, Walnut, Cherry or Oak – All from North America
All four of these popular hardwood species are harvested from North American forests that are managed sustainably in order to preserve our natural resources. Hard Rock Maple is the most popular species of butcher block countertop. It’s the hardest of the four woods, plus its neutral colors - tan and light to medium browns - complement almost any kitchen’s décor. At the other end of the spectrum is American Black Walnut. Walnut is by far the darkest of your four options. While it boasts some tan and cream, medium to chocolate browns dominate. American Cherry skews a bit red, of course, revealing pink to reddish-brown hues, plus streaks of pale yellow. It starts out somewhat pale, but patinas over time. Appalachian Red Oak is characterized by richer, bolder browns compared to maple, plus hints of gold and pink and amber tones. You’ll want to consider hardness and cost, but it typically comes down to which species appeals to you and will fit nicely with your kitchen décor.
Butcher Block Counter Tops Come in Edge-Grain, End-Grain and Blended-Grain Styles
Edge-grain (aka vertical-grain or long-grain) countertops feature wood rails that run the full length of the counter and show the edges of boards sawn from the tree. Blended-grain counters are similar, but incorporate multiple wood rails or staves in each lengthwise span or stripe of the countertop, except for the outermost spans. That’s why they’re also known as finger-jointed edge-grain blocks. Either style is quite suitable for baking and preparing and serving meals, but if you intend to do much cutting directly on the countertop, you should consider end-grain butcher blocks countertops instead. The surface of an end-grain block is comprised of the cut ends of short staves, so can better absorb sharp edges. In addition, end-grain is easier on knife blades. They should last longer and not dull as quickly.
Choose a Natural Oil or Varnish-Like Finish
If you’re looking for countertops on which you will bake or prepare meals, you will need counters coated with a food-safe natural oil. You will need to regularly reapply oil in order to keep the wood moisturized and protected against drying and cracking. Also, it’s important that you clean up any spills promptly in order to prevent staining. It’s a small price to pay in exchange for the luxury of beautiful, durable and sustainable hardwood kitchen counters. An alternative varnish-like finish called Varnique – a product of John Boos - is also available. These counters are low-maintenance, but should not be directly cut upon.
These Countertops Are Available in Standard Sizes
Each species of countertop comes in a number of different thicknesses and in standard widths and lengths. We make it easy for you to shop for standard-size countertops. Simply select a wood type and grain style and view all size options, or narrow the field by way of easy-to-use filters. Just mark check boxes to see standard sizes that might suit your needs. If a standard size won’t do, generate an instant price quote on a made-to-order countertop that suits your exact needs. Specify a wood type, grain style, finish and dimensions. You’ll even have a choice of four different profiles for the edges of your tops. It’s a smart and easy way to quickly compare prices across different wood species and grain styles. If your needs are more complicated (e.g., mitered cuts or sink or stove cutouts), just give us a call.
John Boos Manufactures Premium, Commercial, Industrial and Stainless Steel Counters in the USA
Boos & Co. has been making butcher block countertops for more than a century. Boos craftsmen leverage expertise accumulated over many decades to make counter tops in 3 different grades. Premium tops are best suited for residential kitchens. NSF-approved commercial tops can be found in restaurants nationwide. And industrial-grade countertops are perfect for garages, workshops and industry.
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